Top 10 Right Now – Left Fielders

Happy new year!  We’ve arrived at what could be the weakest current position in baseball – left field.  That’s not to say there aren’t good to great players at the position, it’s just not a deep as any of the others with the exception of possibly catcher and DH.  In fairness, healthy seasons from Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Brantley and Adam Eaton and a full year from Starling Marte should help the cause.

A new list will be published each Monday leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting in February. The lists will highlight the Top 10 players at each position, managers and executives, finishing up with the Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking of each of the position’s number one player.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and already been published:
Nov. 13 – Executives
Nov. 20 – Managers
Nov. 27 – Second Basemen
Dec. 4 – Relief Pitchers
Dec. 11 – Center Fielders
Dec. 18 – Shortstops
Dec. 25 – Designated Hitters
Jan. 1 – Left Fielders
Jan. 8 – First Basemen
Jan. 15 – Starting Pitchers
Jan. 22 – Catchers
Jan. 29 – Third Basemen
Feb. 5 – Right Fielders
Feb. 12 – Ultimate Top 10

Below are two lists, one (“Statistical”) shows players ranked per a combination of their 2017 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. Offensive, defensive, baserunning and all-inclusive stats are included in the calculations.  The second (“Adjusted”) list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on track record, injuries and projections and reflects our ranking of the players as they head into 2018.

The list in which the players appear depends mostly on where they played the most games (or innings) in 2017 but also where they project to play this coming year if substantially different than last (i.e. role player getting a more permanent position).

2017 Statistical Top 10
10. Andrew Benintendi
9. Corey Dickerson
8. Adam Duvall
7. Eddie Rosario
6. Khris Davis
5. Marwin Gonzalez
4. Brett Gardner
3. Marcel Ozuna
T-1. Tommy Pham
T-1. Justin Upton

Adjusted Top 10
T-10. Michael Brantley
T-10. Ryan Braun
T-10. Tommy Pham
9. Marwin Gonzalez
8. Eddie Rosario
7. Andrew Benintendi
6. Adam Eaton
5. Starling Marte
4. Yoenis Cespedes
3. Marcell Ozuna
2. Justin Upton
1. Aaron Judge

In consideration (with their rank from last year’s list): Kyle Schwarber (5), Davis (8), Duvall (9), Dickerson, Gerardo Parra, Alex Gordon, Trey Mancini, Adam Frazier, Yasmany Tomas

Notes: With Giancarlo Stanton in New York, the feeling is that Aaron Judge moves to left field and thus replaces Gardner (who would’ve been at #5) as the Yankees’ representative here… there are still some question marks with Judge, but the added protection of Stanton figures to help him see better pitches in certain spots so we’ll have faith that he’s for real and slot him in the top spot… Upton gets the edge over Ozuna for his consistency, plus it seems he’s very happy in Anaheim which could lead to better production… Cespedes needs to maintain his health and .350 OBP… expecting Benintendi and Rosario to continue getting better… Gonzalez probably had his career year, but still a good player… couldn’t decide between the aging Braun, the recently oft-injured Brantley, or the out of nowhere 29-year-old Pham, so they tie at #10… typically, however, guys don’t just breakout at age 29 after years in the minors but we hope he proves us wrong… watch out for Frazier, he can really hit

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